Fluoridation of drinking water

Other Names:
Water fluoridation
Adding fluoride to public water supplies

Public drinking-water may be enriched with fluoride to take advantage of its powerful caries-preventing effect. Doubts persist, however, concerning the application of this trace element on account of its toxicity. Fluorosis is the disease caused by excess intake of fluorine.  Fluoride doses only twice those which effectively prevent caries may cause slight disturbances of the calcification of enamel, and doses about 20 times greater, when taken over a long period, are known to cause damage to the skeletal system.  Fluoride can also be found in salt, milk and the food supply.

A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, one of the most highly respected environmental health publications in the world, found evidence that fluoride is a neurotoxin in children. Researchers also continue to link fluoride exposure to health problems including thyroid disease, cognitive decline and bone loss.

In this 12-year study with women and children, scientists set out to understand the effect that prenatal exposure to fluoride has on children. The results were alarming. The scientists concluded that for every 0.5mg/L increase in maternal urine fluoride, their offspring had approximately a 3.15 and 2.50 lower GCI and IQ scores, respectively, at ages 4 and 6 - 12.





Research indicates that the use of chlorine (of the same chemical group as fluorine) in drinking water (to kill bacteria) may increase the risk of leukaemia in children.


Fluoride is a toxin that interferes with the actions of iodine, a nutrient vital for proper brain development and intelligence. Fluoride and iodine have similar structures and can both bind to the same receptor sites in the body. Unfortunately, fluoride is bigger and heavier, and if present, will compete with iodine and win the battle.

There have been numerous studies showing the importance of iodine during pregnancy, not only for the role it plays in supporting the thyroid, but specifically for optimal cognitive development of offspring. It is important to understand that there is a window of time for optimal brain development, as neurological development is most influenced by thyroid-dependent iodine in the first half of pregnancy. Unfortunately, if iodine intake is not optimal during this critical time, neurological development may suffer irreversible consequences.

Iodine is often lacking from the typical American diet which is low in fresh, wild-caught seafood. That makes supplementing with iodine while pregnant or breastfeeding important to optimize inherent genetic potential for learning and cognitive ability.


Silicofluorides, or SiF, are used in more than 90 percent of the fluoridated water in the USA. Children (a sample of 150,000) who live in areas where silicofluorides are used were found to be at greater risk of having lead levels in their blood higher than the standard acceptable level. SiF increases the body's ability to absorb lead, which leads to negative effects on intelligence and cognitive abilities, and researchers say the results can be permanent and severe. Along with learning problems, symptoms of high lead levels can include ADD/ADHD symptoms, violent behavior, and drug use.


Fortunately, there is a nationwide movement to remove fluoride from the water supply. Some communities have been successful in removing fluoride due to public demand. However, the majority of Americans still drink fluoridated water.

Water fluoridation in public drinking water has been a controversial subject for decades. Now, finally, a high court in New Zealand has ruled that fluoride in water is like adding unwanted medication to the public water supply. The Court further stated that information reports saying water fluoridation measurably reduces tooth decay without health risk is ‘misinformation.’


Related Problems:
Inadequate dental care
Dental caries
Hydrology Water
Medicine Teeth, mouth
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
30.03.2020 – 01:17 CEST